Resh is the twentieth letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Resh (also written as Reish or Reysh or Rosh) has the same sound as “r” as in “rain”. Every line in Psalm 119:153-160 starts with this letter. Resh looks like this:
Resh means “head”, as in leader, captain or beginning.
The letter’s shape represents someone bending over, just as we bend down to explain something to a child. In the same way, God bends toward us in order to bring His wisdom down to us in His Word. Because God is our “captain” or “leader”, we are to put ourselves under His authority, or headship.
That’s a problem for most of us.
More often than not we want to say,
along with poet William Ernest Henley,
“I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.”
Another meaning for the letter Resh is “reason”, or our ability to think logically. Unfortunately, our heads often get in the way of our faith. We use our own human reasoning instead of trusting in the Lord with all our hearts. We tend to lean hard on our own understanding and fleshly logic. Many even use their God-given reasoning abilities to try to disprove God! Instead, our intellect was given to us to enable us to appreciate our Creator.
Resh comes toward the end of the alphabet because even the smartest academician needs something more than raw brain power. In fact, Resh comes after Tsadhe (righteousness) and Qoph (holiness) to show us that our reasoning needs to be led by righteousness and holiness, not the other way around. But when our brains are led by righteousness and holiness, our understanding will be a blessing.
There’s a lot I don’t understand right now,
so I’ll gladly lean on God and let Him lead.
This world is a confusing place,
so I’ll go to His Word to get help sorting it out.
When I feel lost amid the many flawed theories that seem empty,
I’ll hang on to The Way, The Truth, The Life.
Next: My favorite word in the Bible that starts with V.